Belarusian Track and Field Olympian Says Officials Tried to Force Her Home After Criticism

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A Belarusian way and tract Olympian is astatine the halfway of a quality with her location state that led to a tense concern Sunday evening astatine a Tokyo’s Haneda airdrome and the looming anticipation of an asylum claim.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said connected societal media and claimed successful comments to planetary reporters that she was being forcibly repatriated to Belarus aft criticizing her coaches publicly.

Tsimanouskaya, 24, is slated to vie successful the 200-meter heats connected Monday and the 4x400 relay connected Thursday, according to NBC News.

The International Olympic Committee, which Tsimanouskaya specifically called retired to for assistance successful societal media posts, tweeted Sunday that they person seen reports astir the concern and are looking into it.

The Belarusian Olympic Committee said successful a connection that coaches had decided to retreat Tsimanouskaya from the Games connected doctors' proposal astir her "emotional, intelligence state."

She disputed that successful statements to planetary media.

Belarus was rocked by protests successful 2020 aft Alexander Lukashenko — referred to arsenic “Europe’s past dictator” — claimed an predetermination his opponents accidental was rigged.

U.S. & World

The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation radical said authorities supporters targeted the athlete, who contacted it for assistance to debar what she feared was a forced deportation to Minsk.

“The run was rather superior and that was a wide awesome that her beingness would beryllium successful information successful Belarus,” Alexander Opeikin, a spokesperson for the BSSF, told The Associated Press successful an interview.

The Belarus National Olympic Committee has been led for much than 25 years by authoritarian authorities president Alexander Lukashenko and his son, Viktor.

Both Lukashenkos are banned from the Tokyo Olympics by the IOC, which investigated complaints from athletes that they faced reprisals and intimidation successful fallout from protests since past August aft the country's disputed statesmanlike election.

Tsimanouskaya was taken to a harmless spot and would inquire for asylum from the Austrian embassy, Opeikin said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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